Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama, racism, and denial

clipped from
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."

The group's president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club's meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

"It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don't want to go into it any further," Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn't my attempt."

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Here's another example of USAmerican denial at its finest. Barack Obama makes a simple comment whose truth cannot be disputed, i.e., that as a half-black man, his likeness would be unique among US Presidents. Like I said, you can't argue with that. Unless you persist in the delusion that George Washington was, in fact, African.

The President of Chaffey Community Republican Women, though, thought this statement was so "outrageous" that she mashed-up an image of Obama (as a donkey) with a watermelon, fried chicken, barbecued ribs, and the phrase "food stamps." Talk about outrageous. These are some of the oldest racist tropes in an extensive catalog of anti-black memes, but of course, to hear Ms. Fedele tell it, it "clearly" wasn't her "attempt" (does she mean "intent") to offend.

No wonder she really doesn't want to go into it any further. Denial is a bitch.

Fedele denied being a racist, and pointed to her previous support of Alan Keyes as evidence of her racial tolerance.

Asked why the image included Obama alongside a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, Fedele said, "It was just food to me."

The mind reels.

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Indeed it does. For those of us who still have minds, at least.

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